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Transport Amphoras at the Anamur Archaeological Museum

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By Caroline Autret1, Matthew Dillon2, Erkan Dündar3, H. Asena Kızılarslanoğlu4, Stanislav Pejša5, Nicholas Kregotis Rauh6, Joseph Rynasko7

1. Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi 2. Loyola Marymount University 3. Akdeniz University 4. Kastamonu Üniversitesi 5. Purdue Libraries 6. Purdue University 7. Concord Museum, Concord MA

This dataset contains processed data for 150 ancient transport amphoras stored at the Anamur Archaeological Museum. The jars date from the Early Iron Age to the Early Modern Era.

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Version 1.0 - published on 18 Nov 2021 doi:10.4231/K2MY-AV11 - cite this Archived on 13 Jan 2022

Licensed under Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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This dataset contains processed data for 150 ancient transport amphoras stored at the Anamur Archaeological Museum dating from the Early Iron Age to the Early Modern Era. Most jars are represented by photographs, a profile drawing, fabric photographs obtained with a digital microscope, a detailed form description, measurements, a Munsell fabric coloration, commentary, and bibliographical citations of comparanda. To maintain  consistency  with museum records at the Anamur Museum, we adhere to the Inventory Numbers of the museum as our means of organizing the amphora catalogue. The inventory numbers typically record the date of acquisition by the museum and appear as numbers representing the day, month, and year of acquisition.
At the invitation of the (late) museum director, Ramazan Peker, Nicholas Rauh (Purdue University) and Matthew Dillon (Loyola Marymount University) obtained permission from the General Directorate of Monuments and Museums, Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 2007 to publish a catalogue of the ancient transport amphoras stored in the Anamur Museum. Rauh and Dillon processed approximately 130 amphoras during a sabbatical leave in 2007. Most of the jars had been acquired by the museum beginning in the 1990s from fishermen who caught them in their nets. The provenance for the majority of the jars in this collection, accordingly, can be defined as the waters of the Mediterranean Sea near Anamur. While studying the amphoras, it became clear to Rauh and Dillon that many of the forms originated from excavated materials obtained from the nearby site of Kelenderis. The excavation project there has been directed by Dr. Prof. Levent Zoroğlu (formerly of Selcuk University in Konya, Turkey). Zoroğlu made a point of assembling artifacts identifiably originating from Kelenderis at the Anamur Museum, prior to the installation of his own excavation depot at Aydıncık. Rauh and Dillon discussed the matter with Professor Zoroğlu and it was agreed by all that we would publish the Anamur Amphora Collection as a whole while recognizing Professor Zoroğlu's important contributions from Kelenderis.
The Project went into hiatus for several years until Rauh returned to Anamur with Caroline Autret in 2012 to begin the process of drafting profile drawings of representative forms. Autret trained Rauh, Dillon, and numerous students to generate these time-consuming drawings. From 2012 until 2018, Rauh briefly returned to Anamur every summer to continue with the drawing effort. In addition to the continued assistance of Autret (2012-2017) and Dillon (2013-2014), Rauh recruited the services of Dr. Asena Kızılarslanoğlu now at Kastamonu University in Turkey (2015-2018). He also recruited the help of numerous students from the USA, including several students from St. Olaf's College (who initially visited the museum with their professor, Tim Howe), Joseph Rynasko, Brian Stroinski, Morgan Wychor, and Clair Yancey; Purdue students, Lauren Dalicandro, Elijah Morris, Adam Freeburg, and Nathan McBurnett; Emily Getz from Indiana University; and Fernando Madrigal from Loyola Marymount University. With so many hands on deck, the  team was able to generate profile drawings for approximately 120 of the amphoras in the collection. Under the direction of Joe Rynasko and Matt Konkoly, the students from Rauh's Pottery Seminar at Purdue (Sam Bakeis, Trevor Billings, Chris Buntin, Abby Craig, Anand Griffith, Lily Peck, and Anna Wiljer) assisted with the inking of the profile drawings.
During the course of these seven season (2012-2018), two additional developments affected the progress of our research. The first of these was the determination that the Anamur Archaeological Museum building was structurally unsound, forcing the museum authorities to close the museum in 2016, and to move its antiquities to an off-site depot. The amphoras were initially relocated to the museum exhibit hall so that we could continue to work with them. However, by 2018 it became clear that several undrawn amphoras were no longer present in the museum and were presumably relocated to the off-site depot. This development prompted Rauh to conclude the on-site portion of the work and to focus on generating a catalogue based on the work completed by 2018.
A second development arose from the fact that amphoras continued to be acquired by the museum after our initial investigation in 2007. Since our primary objective after 2012 was to draw amphoras, the team decided to draw these new jars and to obtain a minimal description of each amphora in the time available. The records for several amphoras studied after 2012 are accordingly partially complete, yet, valuable for the additional forms that they contribute to the collection. These limitations notwithstanding, with the assistance of Stanislav Pejša of Purdue University Libraries, Joe  Rynasko (M.A. in Museum Studies, Glasgow University), and Purdue student Matthew Konkoly, we publish our findings at the Purdue Digital Research Repository (PURR). It is our expectation that this valuable trove of amphora data will shed important new light on ancient trading patterns along the south Anatolian coast.
We remain grateful to Anamur Archaeological Museum Director,  Dr. Suat Şahin, and his staff for their unwavering support of this project. Last, we express our profound gratitude to the Turkish General Directorate of Monuments and Museums, Turkish Republic Ministry of Culture and Tourism, for authorizing our research and for renewing it over a sustained  period of time.

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